The Nation's Health + [Health Tips]

Health Tips: Five New Health Concerns for Americans

There are urgent new health concerns for Americans and some of them may surprise you. Whether it is Ebola, Obamacare, the FDA tightening restrictions on natural remedies, or the domination of the pharmaceutical companies—-these new health concerns should be on your radar.

Obamacare

Obamacare should concern you. The health insurance system that underpins the entire American healthcare system has shifted enormously. Hospitals, clinics, and physicians are all trying to learn the many new rules and policies that have come online in a very short time. It does not matter if you love Obamacare or hate it, it is new and all new things cause some problems when they first crank up. Let’s look at it this way. Obamacare has added over 10 million newly insured people to the healthcare system but it has made no provisions to add a single new doctor or hospital. Those 10 million people are going to go somewhere …

Medical Privacy

HIPAA will start to worry you soon, if it has not already. Medical privacy got thrown out the window in one day when Ebola hit. But even before Ebola, there was another threat on your privacy. A not-too-much-talked-about provision of Obamacare requires all hospitals to make their records electronic. Sounds reasonable. Until you realize how vulnerable electronic records are to compromise. Think identity theft is scary? Your medical privacy is about as secure as your credit card now.

Ebola

Ebola has to concern you. The ebola virus (actually there are several) is actually not all that robust and not extremely contagious; believe it or not, it can be contained using currently available techniques and technology. The threat to us is the fact that these best-available techniques and technologies are not being practiced. The Ebola crisis in poor and underdeveloped African nations is a tragedy; the Ebola crisis in the US is a story of incompetence that has to make you wonder. The same people who thought that you could care for an ebola patient with exposed skin around your neck are the people who are making other healthcare decisions for you!

FDA

The FDA and natural health ought to concern you. For many reasons, the FDA and natural health do not get along. The two systems are not so much flawed individually as they are antagonistic. The FDA is set up to regulate big medicine, meaning it is geared to work with large pharmaceutical companies that can shell out millions of dollars for drug development and approval because they can patent their products and recoup their investment. Natural health relies on natural things, which cannot be patented, so there is no financial incentive (or ability) to spend millions of dollars to gain approval for treatments that are already available. The FDA is set up for modern medicine, which treats sickness. Natural health tends to emphasize wellness. Look for more clashes until these two important entities figure out they’re not talking the same language.

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